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Abu Yazid(R.A) and His Disciple

SOURCE: http://red-sulphur.org/node/46

Abu Yazid(R.A) and His Disciple


Submitted by dicryptor on Mon, 2005-10-31 21:34.Spirituality

There
was a certain ascetic who was one of the great saints of Bestam. He had
his own followers and admirers, and at the same time he was never
absent from the circle of Abu Yazid. He listened to all his discourses,
and sat with his companions. One day he remarked to Abu Yazid, “Master,
today is thirty years that I have been keeping constant fast. By night
too I pray, so that I never sleep at all. Yet I discover no trace in
myself of this knowledge of which you speak. For all that I believe in
this knowledge, and I love this preaching.” “If for three hundred
years,” said Abu Yazid, “you fast by day and pray by night, you will
never realise one atom of this discourse.” “Why?” asked the disciple.
“Because you are veiled by your own self,” Abu Yazid replied. “What is
the remedy for this?” the man asked. “You will never accept it,”
answered Abu Yazid. “I will so,” said the man. “Tell me, so that I may
do as you prescribe.” “Very well,” said Abu Yazid. “This very hour go
and shave your beard and hair. Take off these clothes you are wearing,
and tie a loincloth of goat’s wool about your waist. Hang a bag of nuts
round your neck, then go to the marketplace. Collect all the children
you can, and tell them, ‘I will give a nut to everyone who slaps me.’
Go round all the city in the same way; especially go everywhere people
know you. That is your cure.” “Glory be to God! There is no god but
God,” cried the disciple on hearing these words. “If an infidel uttered
that formula, he would become a believer,” remarked Abu Yazid. “By
uttering the same formula you have become a polytheist.” “How so?”
demanded the disciple. “Because you counted yourself too grand to be
able to do as I have said,” replied Abu Yazid. “So you have become a
polytheist. You used this formula to express your own importance, not
to glorify God.” “This I cannot do,” the man protested. “Give me other
directions.” “The remedy is what I have said,” Abu Yazid declared. “I
cannot do it,” the man repeated. “Did I not say that you would not do
it, that you would never obey me?” said Abu Yazid. -Shaykh Fariduddin
‘Attar, Memorial of the Saints (Tadhkirat al-Awliya’)

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